SF Bay oil refinery fire v Hemp

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Huge fire erupts at San Francisco Bay oil refinery

"A huge fire has broken out at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California as more than 160,000 residents were being warned to stay indoors to protect themselves from the hazardous smoke. At least two large blazes erupted at the refinery sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air over the San Francisco Bay-area plant. Fire crews are fighting to contain the blaze, which erupted at 6.15pm, and can be seen for miles across the city. There have been no fatalities, one of the refinery workers was injured with non life-threatening burns. The cause of the fire is not yet known."

http://p.twimg.com/AzqS4tDCIAA5xNZ.jpg

Hemplastic or Fossil Fools Crud
It is twice the size of the continental United States, yet you cannot set foot on it. Scientists have named it "Plastic Soup", and appropriately so. Floating in the Northern Pacific Ocean lays a huge expanse of plastic refuse. This garbage patch is actually two attached areas on either side of Hawaii, known as the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches.

Hempanol
In this day of oil wars, peak oil (and the accompanying soaring prices), climate change and oil spills such as the Exxon-Valdez, it's more important than ever to promote sustainable alternatives such as hemp ethanol. Hemp turns out to be the most cost-efficient and valuable of all the fuel crops!

OPEC Fossil Fuels vs American Homegrown Bio-diesel
"Biodiesel as an alternative fuel is considered a more cost efficient choice among the available technologies for transit systems this size," said Richard Matthews, Transit Director of Athens. "The high capital costs associated with renovating the maintenance and fueling facilities to operate equipment on compressed natural gas is not present with biodiesel. The only facility modifications needed are a separate fuel storage tank and pump. Facility modifications were necessary for this project because only two buses were operated on a biodiesel blend. If a bus system would switch the entire fleet to a biodiesel blend, separate infrastructure would not be necessary. No modifications to the equipment are needed if the vehicle is run with a blend of 80% standard diesel and 20% bio-fuel. A vehicle can be run on a "neat" or 100% biodiesel, but some fuel system components may need to be changed."

HEMP FOR FUEL: Energy Farming in America
BIOMASS CONVERSION to fuel has proven economically feasible, first in laboratory tests and by continuous operation of pilot plants in field tests since 1973. When the energy crop is growing it takes in C02 from the air, so when it is burned the C02 is released, creating a balanced system. Biomass is the term used to describe all biologically produced matter. World production of biomass is estimated at 146 billion metric tons a year, mostly wild plant growth. Some farm crops and trees can produce up to 20 metric tons per acre of biomass a year.

High on Hemp
Hemp is environmentally friendly crop that doesn't require massive applications of fertizilers and pesticides to thrive. It doesn't deplete the land and grows under adverse conditions. Virtually every other country in the world allows its cultivation and are developing its industrial uses which include the extraction of oils for food to the making of bricks for low cost housing. This is the crop that could save the family farm in America.

STOP the Fossil Fools Pipedream, Again! Got Hemp?
We’ve always suspected that the Army Corps, an agency with an abysmal environmental track record, would rubber-stamp the Keystone XL southern segment. But the extent and nature of the stonewalling and secrecy displayed by the agency during this review would shock even a seasoned D.C. insider. It’s taken grassroots outrage and media scrutiny to pry from the Army Corps even basic details about the process.

CANNABIS LUNG CLEANER AND EXPECTORANT
Cannabis is the best natural expectorant to clear the human lungs of smog, dust and the phlegm associated with tobacco use. Marijuana smoke effectively dilates the airways of the lungs, the bronchi, opening them to allow more oxygen into the lungs. It is also the best natural dilator of the tiny airways of the lungs, the bronchial tubes - making cannabis the best overall bronchial dilator for 80% of the population (the remaining 20% sometimes show minor negative reactions).

Many joggers and marathon runners feel cannabis use cleans their lungs, allowing better endurance. The evidence indicates that cannabis use will probably increase these outlaw American marijuana-users' lives by about one to two years - yet they may lose their rights, property, children, state licenses, etc., just for using that safest of substances: cannabis.

Henry Ford's Hemp Car.gif
Electric emperor
Henry Ford and the hemp fueled and fabricated car he “grew from the soil” are shown in this photo with the original caption as appeared in Popular Mechanics in December 1941.

DdC's picture
DdC
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Mar. 22, 2012 12:39 am

Comments

Oh no, another excuse for gas prices to jump in CA.

DynoDon
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Jun. 29, 2012 9:24 am

I live about 20 miles east of that refinery but heard no alarms. The only thing I noticed was after 10 PM that my DVR had EAS on it's display after it had recorded a program. But when I switched to the DVR and watched the recorded program the alert didn't apparently occur during it. There is a refinery in this town and a couple others nearby and often if there is a problem the way I know about it is that there are news copters hovering overhead. They do have a siren system but it didn't sound last night.

We live too much on a precipice depending on fossil fuels. However I note I see more people driving hybrids in this community than any other nearby community. Oh and the main refinery nearby that occasionally has problems is owned by the Koch brothers. Go figure.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote DynoDon:

Oh no, another excuse for gas prices to jump in CA.

And indeed that is what the news services are saying this afternoon. We were enjoying some sub $4 gas for a while. FYI, California has higher gas taxes which unfortunately even though we voted for those funds to only be used for building and maintaining the transportation infrastructure got hijacked for other things.

captbebops's picture
captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote captbebops:
Quote DynoDon:

Oh no, another excuse for gas prices to jump in CA.

And indeed that is what the news services are saying this afternoon. We were enjoying some sub $4 gas for a while. FYI, California has higher gas taxes which unfortunately even though we voted for those funds to only be used for building and maintaining the transportation infrastructure got hijacked for other things.

What a politician lie about how they are going to use tax money! Surely you jest, that has never happened before!

BTW, if you are 20 miles east of Chevron's Richmond refinery, where the recent fire was, then you are near Martinez. The two refineries there are Shell and Tesoro, both publically traded companies, neither owned by the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers own Flint Hills, which has refineries in Minesota and Texas.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 6:24 am

Poor Community Still Sickened by the Oil Industry (Chevron Refinery Fire)

By: marymccurnin August 9, 2012 6:58 am

I had a fantastic Sunday. My second grandchild was born in the morning at Marin General Hospital. He is a sweet little tyke who coos, eats, sleeps, pees and poos. I can already tell he is a genius.

In the evening of my grandson’s first day on the planet, the people of Richmond, CA were wondering how long they had left on this whirling orb. Richmond is just across the bay from Marin County and the Chevron refinery fire was blazing. You can get to the refinery from the hospital where little Lorenzo was born in about fifteen minutes. Richmond, California is quite the contrast to Marin County. Richmond is one of the poorest towns in the Bay Area. Marin County is one of the richest counties in the country.

As I was researching articles to find more facts about the population of Richmond, I came across this article in Scientific American, Pollution, Poverty and People of Color: Living with Industry. It was published on June 4th of this year. Quite timely.

For 100 years, people, mostly blacks, have lived next door to the booming Chevron Richmond Refinery built by Standard Oil, a plant so huge it can process 240,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Hundreds of tanks holding millions of barrels of raw crude dot 2,900 acres of property on a hilly peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Five thousand miles of pipeline there move gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and other chemical products. continued

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DdC
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Mar. 22, 2012 12:39 am

Chevron’s Dirty Legacy Felt from Brazil to the Bay Area
by Tara Holmes August 8, 2012

Chevron’s been making headlines recently, and not good ones. The oil and gas giant is in deep water over a recent oil spill in Brazil and the company was the source of a massive explosion on August 6th at an oil refinery plant in Richmond, California, just miles from San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. The explosion resulted in a “shelter in place” order and sent hundreds of area residents to local hospitals complaining of shortness of breath and chest pain.

Chevron, however, continues to downplay each of these incidences. In Brazil, the company has been appealing a case where an estimated 3,000 barrels of oil leaked into the ocean at Frade fields. While the Brazilian government ruled the company is to pay $25 million in damages and cease production for a few months, the company argues that it “followed standard industry practices in response to the spill and that it is actively preparing to restart production at the Frade facility.”

Back in California, the company hosted a town hall meeting the night after the Richmond explosion in an attempt to defray concern, even offering to compensate victims of the blowout. In the end, however, no matter how many town hall meetings are held or how much money is dished out to suffering residents, the company will continue to go on with business as usual. Of course, the incident does mean that gas prices will rise to over $4 a gallon on the west coast as this particular refinery, one of the largest in the nation, produces about 150,000 barrels of gasoline a day, the equivalent to 16 percent of the region’s daily gasoline consumption.

Nonetheless, the bigger picture rings loud and clear: the fight for environmental justice, renewables and cleaner energy alternatives remains a difficult and bought-out uphill battle, both in the Bay Area, Brazil and beyond. When oil spills or refinery explosions happen, there is immediate public outcry and rage, but, in time, people return to their daily lives, much of which, ironically, involves consuming various forms of fossil fuel. It’s a personal and economic conundrum to say the least and companies like Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and BP remain some of the richest entities on Earth, with profits continuing to soar in the face of climate change and social injustice.

If this fact bothers you, or better yet, if it infuriates you, then great! I suggest starting by letting your representatives know how you feel while re-thinking your daily consumer habits. Where you put your dollar does a lot and spreading the word to your social networks about healthier life choices, carpooling, taking public transit, etc, is an immediate and enpowering way to make positive change.

You can also go further and retrofit your house or apartment with solar panels and/or get an energy efficiency upgrade, thereby requiring you to use less energy in the first place. And yes, simple things like turning the lights off, switching to CFLs and wearing layers in the winter goes a long way, especially if we all do it. Saving money and saving the planet equals a win-win, and these are just a few examples; there’s much you can do to be a smart shopper when it comes to energy consumption.

So until we have a world that’s greener and cleaner, do your part and don’t feel overwhelmed about Chevron’s dirty legacy, although it indeed stinks. Instead, feel empowered to use these unfortunate examples to make a positive change for yourself and for our planet.

Related Stories:

Fire At Chevron Plant Sends Residents to Hospital with Breathing Problems

Success! Chevron Ordered to Pay $19 Billion for Environmental Damages

Oil Sands Fever and Lack of Environmental Review

Read more: , , , , ,

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DdC
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Mar. 22, 2012 12:39 am

Thank you for posting the article and links. I personally knew about the damage in Brazil and I believe they are standing firm in making the oil company pay big time for the damages. Good for them!! Now if we could just do the same!

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MrsBJLee
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Feb. 17, 2012 8:45 am
Quote Mauiman2:
Quote captbebops:
Quote DynoDon:

Oh no, another excuse for gas prices to jump in CA.

And indeed that is what the news services are saying this afternoon. We were enjoying some sub $4 gas for a while. FYI, California has higher gas taxes which unfortunately even though we voted for those funds to only be used for building and maintaining the transportation infrastructure got hijacked for other things.

What a politician lie about how they are going to use tax money! Surely you jest, that has never happened before!

BTW, if you are 20 miles east of Chevron's Richmond refinery, where the recent fire was, then you are near Martinez. The two refineries there are Shell and Tesoro, both publically traded companies, neither owned by the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers own Flint Hills, which has refineries in Minesota and Texas.

The Kochs and Valero (which has a refinery in Benecia) were involved in sponsoring Prop 23 which Californians were wise enough to run out of the state on a rail. Tesoro also joined in support of that proposition.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Navy Ship Crashes Into Oil Tanker
The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Navy said, though the collision was not "combat related." There were no reports of spills or leakages from either the USS Porter or the Otowasan, the Navy said.

Kochroach & Aleech

I don't remember the last time a Navy Ship ran into a Hemp field...

Chevron considered replacing pipe

13 min ago - Chevron officials initially deemed the pipe that failed dramatically last week, causing a major fire at its Richmond refinery, as possibly needing replacement last year but ultimately cleared it for five more years of service, The Chronicle has learn ... (SF Chronicle)

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DdC
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Mar. 22, 2012 12:39 am

So I wonder if the rusty pipe was left in because of the cost to replace it (cost cutting) or because they wanted to get it up and running by a specific time and knew they wouldn't be able to meet that time line if they replaced that pipe. Either case is not a good enough reason to take such a risk. They will hopefully get to the bottom of their investigation soon and hopefully the TRUTH will come out.

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MrsBJLee
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Feb. 17, 2012 8:45 am
Quote MrsBJLee:

So I wonder if the rusty pipe was left in because of the cost to replace it (cost cutting) or because they wanted to get it up and running by a specific time and knew they wouldn't be able to meet that time line if they replaced that pipe. Either case is not a good enough reason to take such a risk. They will hopefully get to the bottom of their investigation soon and hopefully the TRUTH will come out.

FYI, there are very specific rules about corrosion allowances in piping like this. I assume Chevron played by the rules, that when they last inspected the pipe involved it was within specifications. If not, throw the book at them. I find it hard to believe that the pipe involved was not within specs the last time it was inspected.

However, I'm sure that the California authorities are all over Chevron's inspection records right now, and if they put piping back into service that did not have enough metal left to meet specs, heaven help them! Even I would say fine them enough money to make it hurt.

However, I would not want to drive a car in California if that refinery is forced to close. No one would be able to afford to put gas in a car if that happened.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 6:24 am
Quote Mauiman2:

However, I would not want to drive a car in California if that refinery is forced to close. No one would be able to afford to put gas in a car if that happened.

Why allow gas prices to rise because of arson by criminal negligence?

Make every oil company eat the costs, instead of the consumers.

Cap the price of gas, and it will be impossible to fix the prices through disaster.

anonymous green
Joined:
Jan. 5, 2012 10:47 am
Quote anonymous green:
Quote Mauiman2:

However, I would not want to drive a car in California if that refinery is forced to close. No one would be able to afford to put gas in a car if that happened.

Why allow gas prices to rise because of arson by criminal negligence?

Make every oil company eat the costs, instead of the consumers.

Cap the price of gas, and it will be impossible to fix the prices through disaster.

Do you have no conscience, or does it not bother you to throw around baseless charges like these? And your idea for fixing the price of gasoline has been tried before, by Jimmy Carter. Remember the gas lines of the late 70's? What makes you think the results would be any different this time?

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. You are a prime example of that!

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 6:24 am

Currently Chatting

The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

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